Diversity and Educational Leadership

Topics: Leadership, Gender, Education Pages: 12 (4373 words) Published: May 11, 2013
Assignment 2
EDU 8881
Diversity and Educational Leadership
I have explored the complexities surrounding the perspectives in relation to leadership and diversity specifically within the educational setting.
This assignment will also show an understanding of the intricacies of diversity within the educational landscape and how it permeates our decision-making in schools as well as its development into the current representations that we face today.

Limited research has been undertaken regarding Diversity and the intricacies surrounding its effects within the educational field. Some research on Diversity is recognised within the educational field as “inclusion” or “inclusive policy” and some documentation exists around this concept and explores some of the aspects of diversity within this setting.

The concept of diversity like any other theme within the educational field has many varying perspectives and views on it implementations and outcomes. This assignment will endeavour to provide an objective view on current educationalists perspectives and their contrasting thoughts on its implementation within the wider educational field.

Diversity could be simply seen as the recognition of ‘uniqueness’ and understanding differences. Within the genre of diversity we can observe a range of topics including gender, biculturalism and culture to mention a few. A particular concept that is of importance to me and my generation is the concept of gender diversity and the idea of the inequalities faced within the current model of education.

Drawing on the literature I will attempt to highlight some of the implications the issue of gender plays on the educational scene. I will also critically evaluate current practices encircling the implementation and reflection of ‘gender’ within my current school setting.

When examining the range and definition of diversity we find that it encompasses a wide assortment of perspectives such as gender, religion, sexual orientation and many others. Conceptualising diversity could be broadly seen in two possible ways one being in a narrow perspective which according to Kosseck and Lobel (1996) considered features of equal opportunities legislation. The second broader perspective focused on a wider range of criteria such as beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, religion, ethnic culture, education and others.(Morrison, Lumby &Sood,2006) Diversity within education could also be seen in various forms and perspectives. Over recent times there has been rich research and development into what diversity is and what if any impact it has on our educational system and its constituents. When investigating these perceptions of diversity it becomes evident that it is seen in many various forms which are positive and in some cases negative in nature. Gunter (2006) goes on to approximate that the challenge for our educational organisations is to investigate these structures and to replicate and resist them so as to positively grow the organisation through human interaction. Gunter (2006) examined the various pathways in which equity is conceptualised within the educational setting. The argument Gunter puts forward is that there should be a move away from rationalism and a shift in thinking towards the capability approach. Rationalism is defined by Gunter (2006) as the “control of agency through organisational structures”. This field is roughly expounded as the belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief emotional response or any other differences presented by its constituent’s. The capability approach focusses on what individuals are able to do for the organisation. Sen and Nussbaum(1999) supported the view on capabilities which focusses on a critically reflective approach which looks at building on ability (as cited in Gunter 2006, p. 261) When considering Diversity within the educational setting it is...
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